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DR. SCURVY BILL, DVM

I’ve read up on hairless rats.  They do have some characteristics that are unique. They can get sunburned, for example. They also have a tendency to develop fatty tumors called ‘lipoma.’ These are generally harmless, but unsightly.

Let’s face it. Hairless rats are already unsightly. Lumps and bumps do not enhance the hairless rat experience.

I was surprised last Friday to find a large lump on Scurvy Bill’s smooth pink tummy. It came out of nowhere overnight.  It was an inch long and at least a half inch high.  I kept an eye on it, but it didn’t grow any bigger over the weekend. Unfortunately, it didn’t grow any smaller, either. Smooth and oval in shape, it seemed to be under the skin but on top of the belly muscles. It could be moved a little when wiggled.

I kept an eye on this lump, because I did not want to pay weekend veterinarian rates. There’s a veterinary office very close to my house, so I planned to take him in on Monday morning.

On Monday morning, I took Bill out and checked his stomach. The lump was gone! In its place was a neatly trimmed, oval shaped wound. It was very clean. Apparently, Bill got tired of the lump and did a little home surgery on himself. I was shocked, but glad I didn’t have to take him to the vet after all. Wound care is easy.

I washed the wound and put antibiotic ointment on it for the first two days. Bill kept it very clean, and prevented it from developing a thick scab. The second day, the wound seemed very deep as the tissue around it was swollen. By Thursday, the swelling had subsided and the wound was measurably smaller in diameter.  Today, three days later, it’s smaller than my little fingernail.  By next Sunday it should be completely healed.

Like most animals, rats will hide any symptoms of illness as long as they can. The lump must have caused some distress for him to be driven to chew it off. I have no idea what the lump was; it could have been a lipoma, or possibly an abscess, but those generally are caused by an injury, and Bill had no boo-boos.

It sure is handy to have a veterinarian in the family!

 

I have a friend with whom I discuss rats, among other things. She has rats. She has had rats since before I acquired Scurvy Bill, and her rats are reproducing!

There was tremendous response to a “Puppy Cam” last year. So many people were logging in to see the puppies, it made the news. Puppy fever spread, and people discussed their latest antics. Those puppies all found homes before they were ready to leave their puppy lair!

There have been other fantastically popular webcams, like the barn owl cam in San Diego. People logged in worldwide to see Molly bring in a limp rodent for her squalling brood of screeching owlets. They were surely the most popular owls on the internet!

Back to my friend’s rats. She has installed a webcam on the little puppies. There are two blues, one black, and some black and whites. They currently resemble grubs, lacking eyes and coordination. But when their eyes open, the Cuteness Fairy will dash them with a whiff of fairy dust and their cuteness will magically appear.

One benefit besides watching your favorite rat grow up, will be the availability of video clips of my friend teaching the young ones simple tricks. You’ll be able to evaluate intelligence and personality by watching these clips.

So, if you’re in Denmark and are looking for a rat, look here:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ratcamera

As these little ones get older and more active, you’ll be surprised at how catlike their play can be!

Call her 'Mom.'

Welcome to Rat Salad

Which is the Real Rat?

That’s not a Goldfinger victim, it is a gilded plaster bust of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. A bronze version of this thing can be found in every Scientology building worldwide. Sometimes, such things wind up being offered on eBay. Sometimes, they fall into the wrong hands, like those of an artist capable of making a mold and producing copies for the amusement of Anonymous.

Anonymous is the internet hivemind locked in terminal battle with the “church” of Scientology. The battle has raged for two years, since Anonymous came out from behind computer monitors to engage the cult in real life, not because of their beliefs, but because of the blatant fraud, human rights abuses, and active attempts to intimidate critics.

For fifty years, the Scientology organization has been able to pretty much act with impunity against its enemies. Hubbard is seen as a genius, who worked out the secrets to life, the universe and everything. One thing he failed to expect was the internet. Thus, the Scientologists are woefully unprepared for an information war fought online.  They are stuck with the material Hubbard wrote; it cannot be changed, added to or updated. He is Source, the font of all Scientology wisdom. And he’s been dead since 1986.

The information war is fought on blogs, citizen-journalist sites like Examiner.com, websites, forums and the comments section of relevant articles. Unfortunately, it’s hard to hide the crazy when your own personality has been taken over by a false veneer of  L. Ron. One of my favorite examples of this was a blog by a Scientologist that started out as praise for her Roomba.  After a couple of paragraphs about her robotic floor sweeper, she suddenly veered off unexpectedly into a regurgitated rant about psychiatry and “stop drugging our kids!” type rhetoric which went on and on.

Then she brought it all home with a final applaud for her Roomba. Weirdly, this is a crude version of what you occasionally see in message board forums, a post purporting to be about a topic, but worded so vaguely it could apply to anything. There is always a hot link included. It’s very subtle spam. Scientologists, not so subtle.

Where do we stand at the moment? Australia is poised to investigate all organizations enjoying charitable status in a ‘benefits evaluation’ where the charity’s work is reviewed. Organizations found to have done more damage than benefit are likely to lose their tax exemption. Very few charities oppose this proposal. Strangely, the ones protesting are the same ones likely to lose a public benefit evaluation. Scientology is one of those groups.

Scientology’s drug rehab, Narconon, has come under heavy fire in Canada. Last year their facility in Newport Beach, California was shut down. When communities impose basic standards on rehabs, Narconon cannot possibly comply. Their workers are mainly graduates of Narconon, and they are only accredited by Scientology entities set up to accredit things like Narconon and Applied Scholastics, their educational front group.

Word of the various scams, schemes and rackets spawned by the Scientology organization is leaking out, and the public is listening. And not only the public; Scientologists are also beginning to look at the material they’re forbidden to view. Many are leaving organized Scientology as a result. Having seen forbidden information, the doubts they harbor are revealed as valid.  There’s an estimated 45,000 Scientologists in the world. A few of them are extremely wealthy, and the burden will increasingly be theirs to keep Scientology working as the money flow declines.

It is becoming increasingly more expensive to be a Scientologist.

It is hard to feel sorry for this persecuted religion, since it has acted like an insane bully for the past 50 years. The organization was responsible for the largest domestic terrorism case in US history, Operation Snow White.

With Operation Freakout, Scientology operatives tried to drive author Paulette Cooper to suicide, she’d written a book entitled, “The Scandal of Scientology.”

Since these events occurred in the 1970s, Scientology propagandists are fond of claiming, “We don’t do that any more!” But in the past two years, they’ve proven that they don’t do it any less.

Protesters have been assaulted, egged, their belongings stolen or sprayed with foul smelling liquid. They have been subjected to false complaints to the police, misrepresented as terrorists, and libeled by this so-called “church.” They have been stalked by Scientologists and private investigators. Their places of employment have been contacted. Their neighbors have been told slanderous falsehoods. There have been false arrests based on misinformation provided to the police by Scientology.

Yes, it’s hard to feel sorry for the playground bully when he finally comes up against somebody mentally and physically more powerful and gets his butt kicked. That’s what we’re looking at here, the slow decline of a failing bully no longer able to intimidate or terrorize people who speak out against the abuse, neglect, child labor, slave labor and other human rights abuses perpetrated by this wolf in sheep’s clothing.